Competitive admissions standards for college have created a key motivator behind youth community involvement. That's not as cynical as it sounds! This insight took me to the results of a survey conducted by DoSomthing and FastWeb (https://www.dosom
There are a series of links ( starting at the link provided below) describing current and noteworthy research in education. I'd invite you to read several summaries provided here, and think about how these general conclusions about "what can be done
Here's a piece from a comment made on a thread I started here called "Survey says..." Thought you'd find the expanded analysis it introduces on point: ...a piece written Rory Sutherland... vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group UK from a recent issue of Wired magazine. http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2014/02/features/just-do-it-for-status/viewall
Thanks for the response and the link, Peter. I've been responding to a post here by Tino Elgner that touches on some of the motivation issues Sutherland brings out, although Sutherland doesn't stop there! The evolutionary biology, ethics, and decision-making angles are also fascinating facets of this issue. I'll link your comment to Tino's post.
Obviously, this is a tricky aspect of the project's ultimate design and function. With mentoring, it seems to be a matter of emphasis, more than choice. In other words, properly designed and executed mentoring is rewarding, whether you like it or not! That doesn't mean these things that provide for a meaningful experience have to be tangible or of specific monetary value.
From what I'm reading here, for young invitees, it would be extremely helpful to frame the invitation to participate in terms of the purpose and benefits that will be realized on both side of the relationship. And while this isn't pure volunteerism, I'd think the emphasis that will prove most attractive will tip towards the intrinsic motivators.
Finally, I think you want to leave plenty of room for the participants to enjoy the process of discovering purpose, meaning and other benefits on their own.